Intervention Orders, under the 2009 Act, no longer carry an expiry date as a general rule. Consequently, if an intervention order is made against you in final terms then it will stay standing until such a time that the Magistrates Courts orders that it’s revoked or varied. This can cause serious difficulties if a relationship is rekindled or circumstances change which make the terms of an order unworkable or an undue impingement on the freedom of a defendant or protected person.
An Application to Vary or Revoke can be made under Section 26 of the Intervention Orders (Prevention of Abuse) Act 2009; there is a waiting period of 12 months from the date of the final order unless some other date has been specified in the order. Once the time-limit against an application has expired, then an application can be made in the Magistrates Court in the ordinary course; there is a power under the act to allow a Magistrate to dismiss an application where they are satisfied there has been no change in the material circumstances of the parties to justify progressing the matter to a full hearing- should you wish to have an intervention order revoked or cancelled, then it is important that you discuss the matter with a lawyer to ensure that the circumstances are properly put to a Magistrate so that the application is not dismissed out of hand.
Where a Magistrate does not exercise the power to dismiss the application, then the matter will progress to a hearing in the ordinary course; the act requires that the same test and some considerations are examined in determining whether to make an order varying or revoking the intervention order. As in the case of an order at first instance the test is on the balance of probabilities rather than the traditional criminal standard of ‘beyond reasonable doubt’. The question that a Magistrate will ask themselves in determining what order should be made is ‘whether in the absence of the making of an order, it is reasonably likely that the defendant would commit an act of abuse against the protected person’. It is to be noted that ‘abuse’ under the Act is an incredibly broad provision and relates, among other things, to financial autonomy, physical and verbal altercations and even threats to commit suicide.
Culshaw Miller Criminal Lawyers have significant experience both making applications for Intervention Orders and defending persons who have had Police orders made against them. To speak with one of our expert solicitors, call us on 8464 0033, make an online inquiry or for 24 hour advice and representation, call Tom Cuthbertson on 0423 534 621.